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5 Easy Tips to Make Your Green Smoothies Better

Adapted from simplegreensmoothies.com

1) Blend in stages to avoid leafy chunks. [I personally think this one is the most important!] Chewing your green smoothie is no fun! To get a “smooth” green smoothie experience, blend up your leafy greens and liquid-base first. Then add your remaining fruits and blend again.

2) Follow the 60/40 formula. When you’re making your first few green smoothies, don’t just throw things in the blender. Chances are, it’ll taste nasty if you wing it right out of the gate. Use the 60% fruit/40% greens rule.  Add chia seeds and/or some protein powder to round out your 60/40 formula, and voila! You’ve just created the perfect meal.

3) Freeze your fruits & forego the ice. Want your green smoothie to be extra chilly? Freeze your favorite fruits like ripe bananas, grapes, pineapple or berries. This is also a great way to not waste ripe fruits (like those brown bananas on your counter). You can also freeze your leafy greens in a freezer-safe bag. Just make sure to add your frozen greens straight to the blender (don’t defrost these fragile lil’ guys).

4) Avoid juices and artificial sweetners. Add naturally sweet fruits to any smoothie that tastes bitter or a bit too “green.” By sticking with naturally sweet fruits like bananas, mango, apples, pears or pitted date, we can easily avoid artificial sweeteners and processed sugars. The healthiest bases use filtered water or your favorite milk substitute.

5) Make smoothies ahead for the perfect fast food. Life can get crazy busy— especially in the morning. That’s why we think green smoothies are the healthiest fast food for people who are constantly on the go. You can prep your green smoothies and blend the night before and store it in your fridge (up to 2 days). Use an airtight lid to limit oxidation and keep it as fresh as possible. When ready to drink, give it a good shake before you open.

Daily Burn has some great GREEN smoothies that you can try at home.

http://www.avac.us


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A Tale of Two Quizzes

Turns out, “I eat pretty healthy” is just, like, my opinion, man. 

At the beginning of the AbsoluteFIT Challenge 2.0, we were all asked to complete two quizzes — one about our physical activity, and one about our nutrition situation. I thought I was a pretty healthy eater, in general, in that I don’t eat a lot of junk and I do hit most of the major food groups most of the time. But get a load of these:

See, I’m doing great with the exercise — yay me! But as you can see, I am woefully inadequate in the nutrition department. I don’t eat nearly enough vegetables, my plate doesn’t have enough color, I eat too much processed food. A person could despair of this, or — a person could take copious notes at the nutrition session led by AVAC’s own Laura Hsu, and put the things they learned into practice.

And that’s what I’ve started to do — I’m eating fruit three times a day, I have a crisper full of things like carrots and spinach and cabbage (which, yes, I’m incorporating into my diet), I’ve cut way back on sugar, I’m vindicated in my love of pickled and fermented foods (Laura says they’re good for your gut) … it’s a work in progress that’s definitely working, and I have the support I need to keep learning how to do this better.

What are your challenges? How are you working to get more nutrition into your life?

—Lydia M. 

www.avac.us

 


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It’s a Great Time to do the ‘D’

Continuing on in our regular series “The Vail Blog” – A monthly discussion on the “ABC’s” of discipline in health, fitness and wellness.

via – Jackie Vail, Personal Trainer, Team AVAC®

jackie-vailThe Vail Blog – “D”

When creating a diet plan, we can learn a lot from the letter D. From dried fruit and nuts to vitamin D, make sure you are defining healthy choices on a daily routine.  A daily plan and determination will make the commitment for discipline easier to conquer!

A quick and easy idea for a snack is to have dried fruit and nuts available in your pantry. They are loaded with wonderful nutrients and a handful is perfect in offering controlled intake.

driedfruit.jpgWhen choosing your fitness routine try to include some time outside. Vitamin D through natural sunlight is a wonderful way to ensure you get the health benefits necessary for beautiful skin!

∴ A great explanation of Vitamin D and why it’s important for us.

Is dried fruit good or bad? A detailed article on this debate.

– Jackie Vail, CPT

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Motivation Magnet: Get Inspired, Together, by the AbsoluteFITness Challenge 2.0!

 A challenge appears! 

abfit2-0-challHave you been thinking about making some changes, getting healthier, but not sure where to start? Have you been doing regular gym workouts, or even AbsoluteFIT sessions, but want some additional guidance and encouragement? Do you just like a project?

Then the AbsoluteFITness Challenge 2.0 is for you!

From March 13 to April 9, AVAC is presenting this event, which will pull together all kinds of people who have — or want to make — fitness, nutrition and lifestyle goals. You just register online (follow this link to find out more), and get ready to make some lasting changes in the company of people who are doing the same. Look what’s included in your 28-day journey:

  • Kick-Off Party—Friday, March 10 @ 6:30 pm
    • 28 Days of Unlimited AbsoluteFIT classes
    • Fitness Journal
    • Program T-Shirt
    • Finisher’s Water Bottle
    • Fitness & Nutrition Blogs
    • Personalized Fitness Program Prescription
    • Nutrition & Meal Planning Session & Support
    • Certified Fitness Coaching to Keep You On Track!
    • Deeply discounted AVAC® programs
    (Including 1:1 Personal Training/Nutrition)
    • Wrap-Up Celebration — Sunday, April 9 @ 10 am

I can’t wait to do this! The kickoff party is Friday, March 10 — I hope to see you there!

—Lydia M. 

www.AbsoluteFIT.us


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Getting Out Ahead of a Known Obstacle — With Your Ally, AbsoluteFIT!

Help yourself, even when the plan is to treat yourself.

girlscout2017

Somehow I’d missed it, despite the half-dozen emails, group texts, etc. Or maybe deliberately ignored it, whatever — but it’s happening anyway, and right here in my own house: Girl Scout Cookies are coming!

We dealers are reminded: Don’t get high on your own supply. And I have been very, very successful at my 2017 goal of reducing my sugar intake — it was out of control, and now it’s in healthy moderation. Yay, me!

But the thing is, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. this morning thinking of Tagalongs. They are my kryptonite. And I must be realistic about what my life will be like during cookie season.

Which is where AbsoluteFIT comes in. I’m planning ahead: a few extra workouts (building calorie-burning muscle!), the support of my trainers and workout buddies, the discipline I’ve developed through AbsoluteFIT to savor a few of those little demons-in-cookie-form instead of inhaling the entire box at once.

Who’s with me?

—Lydia M. 

www.AbsoluteFIT.us

Lydia Markoff is an Almaden-area writer, mom, and fitness enthusiast with Texas roots, a New York education, and a Californian heart. She plays bass, reads a lot, watches too much TV, and can be found in the AbsoluteFIT studio three to five times a week. Her life goals include having a body like Linda Hamilton’s in Terminator 2, and/or having Bill Murray randomly crash a party she is attending. If you need something from her, try bribing her with good coffee or cold beer; odds are, she wants one or the other of those right now.


 

 

 


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Let Us Help You LOVE Your Liver!

Members and Guests are invited to join us at the upcoming “Love Your Liver Detox” beginning February 13 at AVAC®. A 14-day detox including a ‘pre-cleanse’ week to slowly wean off forbidden foods. An ideal way take charge of your health in 2017!

via – Laura Hsu, AVAC® Nutritionist

blog-image-detox

Happy New Year! With the holidays behind us, and all the indulgent eating and drinking that went along with them, many of us are looking to reset our eating habits, start the new year on the right foot nutritionally, and let go of some not-so-healthy habits.

How Do I Do This? One way to kick-start your way to better eating is to participate in a gentle, safe cleanse or detox. During a detox, many common allergenic foods, as well as food bandits (foods that have no nutritional value but rob our body of stored nutrients, such as processed foods and refined sugars) are eliminated for 2 – 3 weeks. Foods to add include healthy whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, non-glutinous grains, nuts and seeds, clean proteins such as hormone-free chicken, grass-fed beef, cold-water fish and organic eggs, as well as healthy fats. During the cleanse, breakfast and lunch are replaced with a protein shake that contains liver-supporting nutrients as well as vitamins and minerals, and dinner is a healthy, balanced meal. Some choose to have their meal at midday and have the shake in the morning and evening. Healthy snacks are encouraged.

Why Detox? We live in a different world than generations before us. Today’s industrialized world exposes us to more chemicals, drugs, herbicides, pesticides, heavy metals and food additives than ever before. The body has amazing processes and organs for detoxification, but as the total body load increases, our detox mechanisms may not be able to keep up. Obviously, we cannot eliminate our chemical environment overnight, but we can minimize exposure to chemicals and additives in our food, water and skin care products. Choosing the right foods and adding liver-supporting nutrients can go a long way to reducing the burden on our liver and detox systems.

Invaluable Tips: Whether you participate in a formal detox or not, below are some tips for adopting healthy habits this new year and help improve the elimination of toxins:

  • Drink water (6-8 cups per day, or half your body weight in ounces)
  • Exercise to help you sweat regularly and improve lymph flow
  • Increase fiber intake to help with elimination and gut health (high-fiber foods include beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds)
  • Eat more fermented and/or cultured foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt to proliferate healthy gut bacteria
  • Include foods that help the liver detoxify, such as beets, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, etc), lemon, and sulfur-containing foods such as onion, garlic and eggs. Botanicals such as milk thistle are also wonderful for the liver.

Sign Up For More! For those looking for a guided detox with extra support and nutrition advice along the way, I’m hosting a detox from Designs for Health beginning on February 13. This is a 14-day detox, but we are adding a pre-cleanse week to slowly wean off forbidden foods such as sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten and dairy. We would love to have you join us, and your liver will thank you!

Visit www.avac.us/Nutrition for more information and to register.

In good health

-Laura Hsu, N.C. • AVAC® Nutritionist • LHsu@avac.us


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New Year, New You? No! Same You — But Stronger

Go ahead, use the start of a new year to commit to your own goals in AbsoluteFIT!

2017-lydia

There’s a reason gyms fill up in January: In this weird liminal space between Christmas and New Year’s, it’s hard not to find yourself thinking of the year to come, and what changes you want to make. If you’ve decided to commit to fitness, then, what better time to start than the first days of the New Year?

And in my opinion, sticking with your new commitment is mostly a matter of perspective. It’s not about becoming a new person, per se; it’s about making the most of what you’ve got, and treating yourself as if you deserve to expend the effort on yourself to get stronger and healthier.

This is what appeals to me most about AbsoluteFIT: It’s an investment in yourself, for yourself. You will, definitely, see changes if you do the workouts and pay attention to your nutrition. But you will feel changes even during your first workout. It’s empowering in the most literal sense: It gives you power! And the community of people who join you in the studio on their own AbsoluteFIT journeys is the best company to have as you embark on — or continue — your own.

Happy New Year, everyone — and whether you’re brand new to AbsoluteFIT or an old pro like me, I hope to see you kickin’ butt and takin’ names in 2017!

—Lydia M. 

www.avac.us/AbsoluteFIT

Lydia Markoff is an Almaden-area writer, mom, and fitness enthusiast with Texas roots, a New York education, and a Californian heart. She plays bass, reads a lot, watches too much TV, and can be found in the AbsoluteFIT studio three to five times a week. Her life goals include having a body like Linda Hamilton’s in Terminator 2, and/or having Bill Murray randomly crash a party she is attending. If you need something from her, try bribing her with good coffee or cold beer; odds are, she wants one or the other of those right now.